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What is NYU Reads?

NYU Reads brings the NYU community together around a single common reading, chosen by a University committee made up of faculty, student, and administrator representatives. Building on our undergraduate schools’ first-year reading programs, NYU Reads extends this dialogue beyond Welcome Week and opens it up to the entire University community.

Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid book cover, Riverhead Books 2017. Selected for NYU’s Fall 2020 common reading, Exit West by Mohsin Hamid tells the story of a young couple, Nadia and Saeed, whose escape from their war-ravaged city turns into a global odyssey thanks to a series of secret portals that whisk them away to unknown destinations.

For more info on NYU Reads, see the main NYU Reads website.

Trigger Warning

Exit West is a thoroughly engaging novel; it may also hit close to home for some readers. There are, for example, a few depictions of wartime violence in Nadia and Saeed’s home country.

If you need emotional support while reading, or if you have concerns about reading a book in which such experiences are depicted, professional counselors are available to talk 24/7 through the Wellness Exchange hotline at +1-212-443-9999 or to chat through the Wellness Exchange app (available in the Apple App Store or Google Play).

Get a digital copy of Exit West via NYU Library

If you are interested in accessing an e-copy of Exit West, it is now available in the Ebsco Ebook collection, discoverable via BobCat, the Library’s catalog.

To search in five easy steps, you should:

  1. Go to the library’s homepage:
  2. Use the Books & More tab and search “Exit West”
  3. Click the “Online Access” link
  4. Log in using your NYU credentials
  5. Click EPUB FULL TEXT and read the material from your screen

Though the option to download the book on a screen reader is possible, it may not be necessary. This Research Guide on “How to Find Ebooks” provides specific information for accessing Ebooks.

Events and discussions will take place during Welcome Week and throughout the Fall 2020 semester. We recommend taking time this summer to read before the semester begins.


If you need help retrieving books or would like to request an alternative format, please email us at

Libraries NYU Reads Events

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